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Going Underground with Directional Drilling

Over recent years the vast majority of our larger projects have been to connect to mains sewer whilst we still do carry out the installation of commercial package sewage treatment plants, balance tanks and pump stations etc the criteria for requirement to connect to mains sewer has become far more expansive.

With this change has brought about a new scope of works, for some of these sites which require longer stretches of pipework to be installed there is a good chance that directional drilling may be utilised as a cost and time saving exercise.

Directional Drilling

Also known as Horizontal directional drilling this option not only speeds up the installation process but makes the work far less visually and manually intrusive, this is with less rectification works being required once the new pipework has been installed.

The longer the distance, the more beneficial using HDD becomes, this is usually done with a specialist drilling rig and usually can be done in stints of approximately 100 metres (dependant on ground conditions and pipework size).

In comparison the time and materials required to hand excavate over 100 metres of pipework in a roadway could surmount to over 4-5 days of manual excavation whereas with a drilling rig this could be done in 1-2 days.

Utilising the drill also mean that the only visible excavation works are associated with the launch pits and the pump station/ demarcation chambers.

Multipurpose installation

For one job in the Northwest, we were required to provide a suitable setup to deal both with the foul water and the surface water drainage from the proposed new development. Both elements of the work required the installation of a suitable concrete ring that would be utilised as a new package pump station.

The foul scope of works included the installation of the new concrete ring construct which was to be fitted out as a twin foul pump station, from this location there would be approximately 425 metres of 90mm Black SDR11 pipework to be installed within the highway.

Before the final connection point a demarcation chamber will be installed to slow the flow along with a short distance of gravity outfall pipework.

Surface Water diversion

Also as part of the works we quoted to install a new suitable twin surface water pump station which would be to pump to the nearby watercourse (permissions to connect at this location had already been attained by the customer).

The associated 255 metres of pipework was also to be directional drilled to avoid having additional excavation works undertaken in the highway. This is a further cost saving exercise as launch pits only need to be excavated and reinstated once.

Traffic management, section 50 and road closure

Due to the location of the installation we needed to co-ordinate not only with the local water authority in order to make the connection to mains sewer but also to sort out suitable traffic management with the council.

As the road we were excavating along was soon to become obsolete the proposal was to carry out the works under a complete road closure, this allowed sufficient working space for both the excavator and the drilling rig to work safely in the highway.

Once the pipework and demarcation chamber had been installed and the connection to main sewer made, we were able to reinstate the highway back in a like for like state. All teams that carry out these works in the highway have the associated street works qualifications, including hot lay and cold lay.

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County Durham
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